Tuesday, March 23, 2010

SciFi Book Pick: Armor by John Steakley

John Steakley's Armor takes the brooding male of literature, drops him on a planet filled with dust and wind and insects that give Starship Troopers a run for its money, and provides us a moving story of a man who must face loss, a disbelieving military, and his own deepest fears.

On the cover, Kliatt calls the book "Gripping, forceful and compelling...a tour-de-force."

Indeed it is.  The scenes of combat are personal, realistic, and devastating.  The sense of isolation is portrayed so well that it makes you feel genuine sorrow.

If there is a weakness to the book, it comes later, with the introduction of the frame story.  But then the frame story picks up, too, almost becoming the equal of the initial story with Felix and his scout suit.

I don't want to spoil it here for you, but it seems that a major premise of the book is the idea that a simple suit of advanced form-fitting armor can change a man on the inside.  Or it might be that the external armor is nothing unless there's something stronger running deep within.

Either way, a great read.

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